RAYMOND GIVES THE OKAY
After a summer of rehab and missing the first two months of the 2011-12 regular season, Mason Raymond gave the okay to coaches that he's ready to return to the lineup.
"I'm feeling good," he said following Monday's morning skate. "I gave coach the go-ahead that I'm now ready to play so when that opportunity arises, I have to be ready to jump in the lineup."
He hasn't seen game action since sustaining his back injury in game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals against the Boston Bruins on June 13.
He could make his season debut as soon as tomorrow night against the Columbus Blue Jackets but that decision won't be final until Tuesday. Neither Coach Alain Vigneaul or Raymond are giving any indication either way.
Raymond had 39 points (15-24-39) in 70 games last season and eight points (2-6-8) in 24 playoff games.
TALE OF TWO ALEXES
Despite leaving late in the second period in San Jose after a hit by Jamie McGinn, Alex Edler says he'll be good to go Tuesday night.
"I feel good today and I felt pretty good yesterday too so right now, it's all good."
He didn't return to the game Saturday night but it doesn't sound like anything anyone should worry about with his comedic response, "If it was the Stanley Cup Final, I would've played [the whole game]."
It was a rough Saturday for the Alexes as Alex Burrows received a slash on his hand that required some medical attention as well.
"He's got an open wound there from the slash that he took from Thornton in the last game," said Vigneault. "It's a tough place to put stitches so we'll see how he's doing tomorrow."
But don't expect that to keep him out of the lineup tomorrow.
Why all the commotion? The dressing room talk between reporters stirred up the Cory Schneider vs. Roberto Luongo soap opera but put aside the drama and stick with the facts.
Cory Schneider gets the start in net tomorrow as he gets rewarded for the 4-0 record he's had on the Canucks current streak right now.
"Right now, the way that Cory is playing and he's playing real well so we decided to go with him tomorrow," said Vigneault.
See, no drama, just facts.
Schneider has let in just three goals on 120 shots, good for a 98.3 save percentage during that span. He had two consecutive shutouts and earned the NHL's second star of the week honours for his play. As of Monday morning, Schneider 12th in save percentage and 13th in GAA in the NHL. Tuesday night will mark his 11th start of the season.
"It's great to get back in there and keep playing so I'm just trying to keep doing what I'm doing and hopefully the team will stay on the same page and keep this roll going," said Schneider.
The team is now holding a record of 13-9-1 - four games above .500.
Despite the numbers, Luongo's role doesn't change in the organization.
"Obviously, Roberto's our number one goaltender and before he got hurt, he was starting to find his game," said Vigneault. "We put Cory in and he wasn't very good against Chicago but after that, he was the best player on the ice against Ottawa, shutout [vs. Colorado], shutout [vs. Phoenix], and then that performance he had the last game. He's played well and he's going to play tomorrow."
It's clear that everyone has the same goal and the mutual respect between the two netminders is evident when they speak of each other.
"Cory's got unbelievable talent and he's been working his bag off for the last two years, never complained and was always 100% behind me and the same thing goes for me. He deserves what he's getting right now and he's got unbelievable talent and there's no doubt in anybody's mind that he could be a starter in this league. Bottom line is that it's about the Vancouver Canucks winning games and that's what I'm all about," said Luongo.
"Lui's had plenty of hot streaks so you've just got to with him. He'll be back in there sooner or later so I'm sure he'll pick up where he left off, where he started to get hot there before he got hurt."